Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 28, 2014 12:45am-3:01am EST

12:45 am
whoone online for an hour, knows very little about islam, shelittle about shariah, misquoted the koran, the life of mohammed. accurate,lutely not i find itn refute -- very offensive and am completely shocked, as someone who watches it respects c-span, to see this program completely shocked. programo say the worst i have seen on c-span in 20 years. >> i wanted to comment on the "q&a" on c-span with the author. she has given the most complete
12:46 am
and concise, articulated explanation of the muslim religion in the modern world that i have not heard of. i am a religious scholar of over 65 years. forshould be commended just this speech, thank you very much, c-span. >> continue to let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. us, or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> warmer presidents bill clinton and george w. bush appeared together in early september, marking the launch of the presidential leadership scholars program. the events were held in washington.
12:47 am
former bush white house chief of staff josh bolded moderates. this is about 40 minutes. >> i have a letter that has just .rrived from walker's point
12:48 am
september 8th, 2014. i am delighted to send greeting to those gathered in washington, d.c. for those with a partnership between the presidential leader scholar programs. every former president is different. and that is as it should be. for example, not all of us sky dive dive. [laughter] that is not a judgmental comment. just a fact. [laughter] every so often there is an idea that is so compelling it brings together former chief executives to push it forward. so will this program and offer people to study decisions and learn from key administrations and practitioners and leader academics. we face a lot of challenges in and out ouch government so the idea of developing more leaders from all walks of life to address them and help move the nation forward is vitally important in my view.
12:49 am
thank you for being here. and ask the two distinguished members to keep it brief. signed, george bush. [applause] >> i understand president bush is watching, so i know from everybody in this room today we send greetings, respect, and salutations. that, gentlemen, the letter i just read from 41, mentions the uniqueness of having these four presidential centers come together. in fact, i think this is the first collaboration every among presidential centers in an ongoing initiative. why did you decide to do this as a collaboration and why did you pick leadership as the theme? president bush?
12:50 am
>> because. you said keep it short, right? hi, mom. [laughter] because we have a lot of to offer. bill and i have become friends in the post-presidency. i admire his ability to communicate and lead. i know he wants his library to be relevant heading into the future as do i. i know 41 well. i have always admired president john johnson's leadership and i know the centers are tremendous assets that need to be used properly. i felt, and i know bill feels -- well i will not put words in his mouth -- but i felt it is a fantastic use of our ability to bring people together. and i know in washington, as
12:51 am
soon as we are talking about the next president or senator but we are not. we are talking about leadership in all aspects of life. one of the things i have learned, maybe through my painting, is i am trying to leave something behind and something to make the world a better place. we did that hopefully, people judge that, but hopefully when we were president, but there is still a lot of life to live. and i think a great contribution to our country will be to educate the next generation of leaders. i am thrilled to be associated with this, it is a big deal. >> president clinton? >> first, i wanted to do it the great test for any democracy at any time is how to have figures debate, serious
12:52 am
disagreement, knockdown, drag s, and somehow come to a resolution that enables the country to keep moving forward. the founders said our job was to create a more perfect union. it was tor said wa agree on everything. read the constitution, it ought to be subtitled "let's make a deal." [laughter] studiouslywas designed to avoid dictatorship. leadership styles, they are all different. but in the end, we have to let our differences flourish and come to some sort of understanding about how to deal with challenges and how to go forward. these libraries and foundations represent, to republicans, to
12:53 am
people of my age are profoundly affected by president johnson's several rights act -- civil rights act. in a greatare struggle in america and around the world to define the terms of our interdependence. this is the most interdependent age in human history. going toaughing about restaurants and having to spend our time taking selfies with people. [laughter] >> police they are so asking. >> that is right! become a people would want to shake your hand. now they want to have a record of it. we can't get away from each other. the question is, how will we define the terms of our
12:54 am
relationship? that will take and norms amounts of leadership in every sector. this is not a political deal. we believe that there are some skills that i also think leaders you may have some innate abilities but our military proves you can train leaders, and their capacities can dramatically increase. >> president clinton, let me follow up on that last point you made about leaders not being made. this center is supposed to be teaching leadership, but can it actually be taught? how do you do that? something's, can be taught -- some things can be taught but some things have to be observed and practiced. i think we have to teach true observation.
12:55 am
whatever it is you want to do, you have to have an idea of where you are going, a strategy. then you have to have a plan to execute that strategy. witheed to be comfortable an honest assessment of what you don't know and what you can't do. so that you build a team of people who know things you don't and you are good at things you aren't so you can do that. then you have to always leave the door open for somebody to call and disagree with you. about my friend, here -- [laughter] i will say more than one thing, but this particular thing -- he is to call me twice a year in his second term, just to talk. we talked, depending on how much time he had, since he was busier
12:56 am
than me, somewhere between 30-45 minutes, for several years. that meant a lot to me. we never talked about it in public. he asked my opinion. half the time he disagreed with the. -- with it. but i felt good about that, i thought it was a healthy thing. i will never forget the first week i was in office i got all the young people who have helped me in my campaign, i said, "if any of you ever come in this oval office and to me what you think i want to hear, my goose is cooked." i might as well run the white house with a computer. you have got to cultivate people who know things you don't, and have skills you don't, and yes, that can be taught. if nothing else, we can help people get out in their own way. everybody has got a story and a can bring it to
12:57 am
bear if we just help people get out of their own way. bush, there was no presidential leadership scholars program when you were growing up. >> yet, there was>>. [laughter] george h.w. bush. >> that was where i was going. [laughter] my next question, mr. president -- [laughter] president clinton, is there anything -- [laughter] is there anything you wish somebody had taught you about leadership before you became a leader? >> actually i thought you were going to promote my book. question. -- that answer that question. >> let me go back -- i agree it
12:58 am
with a lot of what you said. i don't think you can teach you huimility. i don't think you can teach being secure. i don't that you can teach courage. i think you can give people tools of that is innately -- if that is innately in their system. people who have exhibited leadership characteristics that you can't teach, and give them tools -- i believe there can be a confidence boost. you look over this program and you see other people, the same age or area of work, they say, wow, i think i can do more. presidents -- they are going to discover that we are just normal people who ambition and in drive in circumstance and ended up being president. and if these guys can do it, i
12:59 am
can do it, and here are the tools. absolutely, you can teach leadership skills. i don't think you can necessarily teach leadership qualities. -- i assume the committee is going to scream for people who have shown leadership qualities. or 50.age of 35 anyway -- i learned a lot from my dad. i have very fortunate to have watched a great man. it's his book i am writing. which i think will be on november 11. [laughter] , this isove story going to irritate people in washington, i suspect. it is a love story. it is a story about seeing someone you admire and learning from them. maybe this program will be able to do the same thing.
1:00 am
fromrned a lot of lessons being able to watch him throughout life. i suspect that people are going to be able to say, i learned a lot about leadership when i studied the presidencies of the four people that are associated with the program. >> but few clearly absorbed a lot of lessons. i am assuming those will be available in your book. >> i learned a lot from him, and i am not even making any money off of it. that -- thanks for that.
1:01 am
i went to see president bush on the 70th anniversary of his being the youngest american andt shot out of the sky world war ii. to flyy taught him how the plane. he was 20, and he wanted to be up there. we had a flyover with an exact a little bomber he flew. it was small compared to the larger ones that were developed later. there were even smaller fighter planes that escorted him that were famously flown by the tough piggy airmen, who are the only unit we had that never lost a bomber. -- tuskogee airmen,
1:02 am
who are the only unit we have the never lost a bomber. he said, do not leave the formation to prove you can shoot a german fighter plane. protect the bomber. that's our job. it was a strategy that resulted in never losing a bomber. i haved to him and said been thinking about it all day. he said, he had been piggy about it, and he remembered everything that happened. he was too young to have been for much leadership development except learning how to fly the plane, but i also think he got better as he went along. better as i went along. giving people access to
1:03 am
insights gills and training and literally helping them keep their heads on straight is very anything thatause is hard will become harder. you will feel a lot of pressure. we were talking about this golf tournament. ofn you get in any level high competition, you have to work hard to keep your mind and spirit in the right lace and never lose focus. i think there are ways to do that better quite effective, and i hope we can be helpful to a lot of able. >> margot and stephanie did a nice job of describing the program, telling us the kinds of they are looking for in this program. let me ask each of you to tell
1:04 am
us a little more about precisely the kind of people you would .ike to have participate what would be a successful type of person who could benefit from this program? >> we want people who have shown capacity to succeed. people who work hard and work with others in a good way. who have launched a career in whatever field, and we just want a little extra fuel. members of the white house -- we had the honor of meeting with our white house fellows. an extraordinary group of people.
1:05 am
some are white house fellows. the next thing is to get people to apply for the program. >> i would like to have people involved in nongovernmental organizations. i would like to find people who would do good work. it has become sustainable in their state.
1:06 am
i think they could benefit from a program like this. i would like to have people who are entrepreneurs in the program working in areas with enormous potential but significant uncertainty for america's economic future. get some people from germanic lead different --kgrounds together dramatically different backgrounds together with a charge to do something. when the tea party got organized, a lot of early people interested in it were not anybody getting rich. they just not the government let them down. they thought the private and public sectors got two big. -- too big.
1:07 am
they thought things would be all right if everyone had their upbringing. i would like people like that to be paired with community activists and african-american and hispanic and immigrant neighborhoods to figure out what they can do together to have the right culture and the right support system. i think we can do a lot of things like that that have developed leadership and the skill we are beginning to see atrophy in america, which is to listen to people who disagree with us. want to be around anybody who disagrees with us. make a decisions in complex environments. [laughter] there are only two people who have this number, and they are both related to me. i hope i am not about to be told
1:08 am
and become a premature grandfather. >> and make national news. scholarship program. >> i don't think so. i have been admonished in asking these questions not to to commityou guys news. inc. you. >> that requires leadership on your part. >> it does. i'm going to try to exercise it, but if any of you has any political announcements, endorsements, or predictions you would like to make, now would be a fun time. remember what the woman in canada asked us. she said, what about another clinton-bush mash-up. my answer was the first one
1:09 am
didn't turn out to dead. -- turn out too good. >> i'm going to exercise some leadership and not let us get any further off. i am interested in the answers both of you gave to the last question in talking about what kind of scholars you wanted. you talked about politicians or elected officials. i gather that is not the core purpose of this scholarship row gram. it's not to train a bunch of new political leaders. >> i know he thinks it is important, and i do, too. one of the things we would do -- ," the to see "all the way broadway play about the civil rights act. won a tony award for it.
1:10 am
that ahim better as lbj drug dealer, but he is a great actor. , like the movie lincoln because it showed abraham lincoln as a politician making those dreaded deals, giving guys jobs to vote for the amendment to end slavery. i wouldn't mind having a leadership program which forces people to talk about the compromises leaders have to make and which ones are more principled and which ones aren't , and is it only determined by the end, or do you have to have a limit on the means, too. i hope we have to have that because that is imported. if you lose the ability to keep the door open for people -- i remember one time trent jumped all over me in a talkshow, said
1:11 am
i was acting like a spoiled brat. he said, what do you mean? i said, you work hard last week, didn't you? and somebody asked you to do those sunday morning talk shows. you woke up exhausted with a headache. they baited you, and you took the bait. he said, that's exactly what is happening. how did you know that? i am telling you this because it made us better friends. said.'t care what he i cared about whether we could go to work next week. those things i would like to help teach people. how did mandela develop the the people who kept him in prison in his government?
1:12 am
we are going to have to do pretty radical things over the next 10 or 15 years if we are going to create real decision-making processes that work. i am not against having people in politics do this, but i am .gainst having a political cast >> i agree. i am also concerned about the look at theople political process and public service and say, i don't want to serve. who wants to get involved with that. who wants the reputation besmirched? programhopefully this will its buyer good people to serve and say, it's worth the cost. good people to serve and say, it's worth the cost. i hope the military participate. it is going to be important to goe people in the military through a program like this.
1:13 am
i am not adverse to politicians, noble.politics is i want to serve. >> let's talk about the curriculum of the presidential leadership scholars program. and stephanie described it. to thefour key scenes curriculum. the first is communications and vision. the second is decision-making. the third is influence and persuasion. the fourth is coalition building. in your mind, president clinton, as any of those more important than the others? >> the bible says when there is no vision people perish, but the is i think the test it is going to be better when you quit than when you started, you have to do everything.
1:14 am
you have to have a vision turned into a strategy. then you have to be able to execute the strategy to pass a bill. if you are not in a political go do it,ou have to and you have to be able to people who know things you don't and have skills and to't to do that build support for it. areink all of those things exceedingly important. then you have to stay at it. one of the things i hardly ever see, and we never talk about it, but i watched all those debates he had with vice president gore. not a single one of them could ask, what are you going to do when they blow up the world trade center? if you take a leadership often -- you very particularly in an uncertain world, if you don't do or get
1:15 am
caught trying to do what you said you were going to do when you ran, you feel like you let yourself and your supporters down, or if you take a job as company, same thing. you cannot ignore the incoming fire. really damaged our friend in south africa. he said mandela created a modern political stay. politicalate a modern it economy, and here comes aids. happen,retend it won't it will sink it. then you have to think about things that aren't in the headlines to per pair for the future. you got to do all of that. prepare for the future. >> i thought stephanie and margaret had a valid point. issues change. circumstances change. there are certain risible but don't. management risible than
1:16 am
leadership skills that won't change. thatrtain principles don't. the idea is to not homely -- not only have a class but a series of classes, encouraging people to sign up and reinforcing the lessons learned about what it takes to lead. washington people say, they are talking about a budget chairman. a business owner, these lessons apply to you as well. you may have to communicate with fewer people, but you have to communicate the vision. it is going.where leadership is about knowing where you want to take somebody. the skills necessary to do so. i don't think you can desegregate them. >> let me ask about the two that areies involved not represented on this stage.
1:17 am
president clinton, i am going to begin by asking you about 41. even though you haven't written . book >> i think i could put one together that will be ready for the christmas season. >> you have worked a lot with 41 in your post-presidency, and you are known to be very close with him. attributes of 41 do you think have impressed you most and are the ones you want to inculcate through this leadership program? withen you are dealing are aent bush 41, there couple of things that are never in doubt, and i think this is really important. goodwill is never in doubt.
1:18 am
before. true we have been working together a long time. we have been out of office a long time. he did things when most people are at an age where they have stopped doing things. jimmy carter did the same thing. he ist to respect that -- 90. he just went to china to celebrate the 35th anniversary of opening the door to china. when you deal with president you realize immediately he is a person of goodwill, and whatever it is he is doing, he is doing because he thinks it's wants to help somebody. i don't think that can possibly be underestimated as an attribute. ,f you don't have that everything else you are trying to do is a lot harder. when i was president and i had a
1:19 am
republican congress, the people that actually knew me, that i had a relationship with, that we had done something together on, republicans who supported the irish peace process, we had a big leg up. i think it is very important. thing i think he had that i believe every leader needs, and i think he has got, .oo, by the way we can all do the right thing when we are presented with a problem we know everything about and we understand the main players, but the best leaders have enough imagination and empathy that they can feel the situation somebody is in that they have never been in. bush 41 was rate about that.
1:20 am
otherwise, he wouldn't have been out there pushing for the americans with disabilities act. he wanted those clean-air standards. when he was a congressman, he was one of the few republican southerners that voted for the open house and lot in 1968. he can always live wherever he wanted. he can put himself in a position who wanted a different life. i think that is one of the most important characteristics of a leader can have. athas always been great that. >> thank you. you are right. to yousame question about lyndon johnson. what stands out in your mind about his leadership well it is
1:21 am
-- qualities? >> i met lyndon johnson twice. once when i was visiting my grandfather, who was a colleague in the senate, and once later on when he retired back to texas. he is a big guy. hiss struck by how imposing physical being was. would suspect his strongest quality was his persuasiveness. particularly to get the civil rights bill passed. the greatest legislative feeds in our nations history. lyndon johnson powered it through. i think people will be able to be inspired by his lesson.
1:22 am
>> let me ask you to talk about each other for a minute. >> wonderful man. beautiful. >> what in president bush's leadership style stands out for you that you want taught in the scholars program? >> when he decided what he thought was right, he went for it. sometimes i didn't agree with , but i thought was right recognized he was doing what he thought was right, not what he thought the politics of the moment required or what the constituencies in the party required. about no child
1:23 am
left behind, but one thing it reflected was a concern for the achievement levels of all , and tedstudents kennedy supported him on it. as i remember, that was kind of interesting. i read member when he said, i -- do nuance,ce and he got bashed for it. cloudynuance in situations, but sometimes clarity is required. he said it in a circumstance wase he thought clearly it more important than adding a --ee paragraph code is on three explanation of what your decision was. i learned a lot watching him
1:24 am
over the years. i tell young people who agree but when youics look at the top of any organization, every now and then , of all the world leaders i came in touch with, i had an occasional lazy person, an occasional not real smart person, and an occasional crook. most of them were smart, hard-working, and on us. whether i agreed or not, they did what they thought was right. i think watching how they do it is very helpful. , and different ways -- me because i tend to look like i am nice, and he because he tends to make fun of himself -- you always want to be underestimated by your adversaries. fromnsistently benefited
1:25 am
being underestimated, and so do i for different reasons. i watched the way he fought through things and try to approach him with clarity and decisiveness with great admiration. if you read that book you will understand why. not the one coming out but his other book. i was one of the non-right-wingers who voted. >> thank you. there is a lot to admire about bill clinton. you are an awesome communicator. i always admired that. he can really lay out the case and get people across the political spectrum to listen. i think it harkens back to what you said about my dad, and that is that you have great empathy for people.
1:26 am
if you have empathy, people are going to want to listen to you, and when they start listening, you can convince them. you made tough decisions. decideden carefully and . in time a leader has to decide, and you did that. you told people where you wanted to lead in a way people could understand and made decisions and stuck by them, so yeah. is that enough? [laughter] that was a lot shorter than your answer, i know. >> let's move on. [laughter] >> i think equally powerful.
1:27 am
>> former chief of staff, i ppreciate you saying that. >> president bush, i am going to pass the last question to you. going to ask you, what advice do you have on the leadership qualities necessary to be a good granddad? >> be prepared to fall completely in love again. you're not going to believe it. you're not going to believe the joy and the fun, and i'm looking forward to talking to you after that child is born. we hope the very best for child'sand that the health be strong, like i am confident it will be. it is going to be awesome for you. get ready to be the lowest person in the pecking order and
1:28 am
your family. -- in your family. [applause] >> gentlemen, this has been a great conversation, which i think has amply demonstrated that you all are coming together in support of a great program, terrificl i think be for the country, both for the substance of what it is going to teach new leaders, but what it will say for the country. please join me and banking -- in thanking these extraordinary men. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its
1:29 am
caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] up, the economic impact of raising the minimum wage. deputy attorney general on the role of the justice department's civil rights division in the ferguson, missouri, case, following the grand jury decision, plus we will be looking for your phone calls, facebook comments, and tweets, live at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. coming up, the runoff election debate for louisiana's u.s. senate seat between the incumbent and the republican challenger congressman bill cassidy. here is a look at the recent ads running in the state. >> i am mary landrieu, and i approve this message. >> l cassidy gave a speech that
1:30 am
was nearly incoherent. speech cassidy gave a that was nearly incoherent, but to record is clear, voting top benefits. it be a senate -- >> will we choose this? >> before the end of the year, we are going to take whatever lawful actions we can. >> that this president obama .romising amnesty i will fight his amnesty plan. your tax dollar should benefit you. remember, mary landrieu, barack obama 97%. i will stand up to obama. i approve this message. >> every day i say a prayer for
1:31 am
my kids. i just want them to be happy. bill cassidy is a doctor. he still voted to cut $86 million from schools to pay for a tax break for millionaires like himself. i am mary landrieu, and i approve this message because louisiana's children should for the taxe price cut. >> a few words from mary landrieu on obamacare. on voting with barack obama 97% of the time. the am happy to see extraordinary record. >> if you dare disagree with her, now you know what to do on election day.
1:32 am
the runoff election is saturday, december 6. you can watch the candidates in the final debate at 8:00 eastern. on our companion network, c-span 2. >> we continue our four-day book tv and american history programming. jonathan icon the history of the birth control pill. sunday night bill nye the science guy on why he thinks the teaching of evolution and creation in science classes not only wrong but dangerous. and george washington and .enedict arnold a glimpse at american life from harry ford's film collection. find the schedule at, and let us know of what you arek of the programs you
1:33 am
watching. call us, e-mail us, or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation, facebook, or follow us on twitter. >> after more than 35 years in congress, virginia representatives frank wolf is retiring. congress, he served as deputy interior secretary and was in the army reserves. will misss on what he about congress. also the state of the u.s. economy. >> congressman frank wolf, we are talking to you on what will be the start of your last day in congress. i wonder what you think about
1:34 am
ending the career. >> you want to leave while you are still able to do things. >> what is it like watching people vie for the seat you have held for such a long time? that's interesting. i have endorsed barbara. it is interesting to watch. >> doesn't feel like an out of body experience -- does it feel like an out of body experience? >> no, but i feel connected. i would like to see her stay. she is a good person. >> this whole city has changed so much over the past three days. hasdoes it reflect what happened in washington? >> dramatically. i lost in 1976. i lost in 78.
1:35 am
i won in 1980 because of resident reagan. -- president reagan. now i have fairfax, but i go into the beautiful shenandoah probably one of the most historic parts of the nation. the district has changed dramatically. at one time i even went down into the shenandoah valley. there has been a dramatic change. i was the one who campaigned in a metro stop. i would hang out at the metro stop.
1:36 am
there have been some dramatic changes. >> what effect has it had on you and your family that you are every daymmute home as opposed to some other members ? >> it has been a blessing. i have five children and 16 grandchildren. i wouldn't have stayed so long had i not been here. i have been in the same house. being able to go home every night has been a blessing. .t has been so good i do nothing on sundays so my kids are able to say -- or even to watch the redskins game or follow sleep on the couch, but i have a normal life. cup.ame house, same coffee it has been very tough on some members.
1:37 am
normal,has been very because if we are there at 7:00 or 7:30 at night, i can be there -- i can be home in an hour. it has been good for me. it has been good for my family. the cats in the cradle, the spoon, when are you --, dad it has been a blessing for me and has enabled me to stay here for 34 years. >> for so many it is a strain on their family life. what your perspectives are on the political family. >> for me it hasn't been a strain. i don't want to pretend it has. >> for many colleagues. >> it can be tough.
1:38 am
if you're from california, the house adjourned at 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon. you run to the airport. you catch a flight. you fly to california. i would decide what code am i going to bring and what time. going tooat i am a bring and what tie. i remember going with leon panetta. he was on his way home to california and coming back on monday. it's very tough for these members. i have great respect. theireally are away from families for a long time. i could not have done that. what enabled me to stay. my constituency has been very good. i have not done a political 1988,on a sunday since 81. i saw a film series.
1:39 am
cats in the cradle. i don't know if you know the words. i cried. i saw the film. i went home and saw my family. right there i have a telephone that rings on my desk. the only person who has that number is my wife. when that phone rings, i know. made it a priority. i have been very grateful. i saw jim dobson did a film called "where is dad?" it has been very tough on these members. i admire how hard they work and the difficulty. it is tough. other thing that has changed is the cost of running for congress. i wonder about the enormous requirement for raising money.
1:40 am
>> it's terrible. >> what is it due to the job? >> it is changing it. i think of my first -- what does it do to the job? >> it changing it. $200,000.spent isevision, the cost of ads really changing, and it's not good. i don't know what the answer is. it may not have been a good vote. now you are kicking the money out of the political process and putting it into outside groups. the cost has been really high. >> are you leaving with a campaign war chest of your own? >> no, i am going to give everything i own -- we are going to give to food banks, the shenandoah valley food banks. we're also going to give to wounded warriors.
1:41 am
we are also going to give to a that has arginia retreat for people who have been giveed, so we are going to it all away. each and every dollar will be given. it is basically food banks and veterans groups. talked about wanting to spend more money on the issues you cared about the most. one thing you have been most associated with this human rights issues. how did that get started? >> it's interesting. i was elected in 1980, came in and 81. if you look at my newsletters there is no mention of human rights or religious freedom. who is my bestl, friend in congress. years. been in it for 32 he asked me to go to ethiopia during the famine.
1:42 am
said, can i go to ethiopia? sure. i got on an airplane by myself. famine,not remember the but it was a very bad famine. run by worldmp vision. the embassy didn't want to spend the night. i said, i want to spend the night, and the guy said, if you spend the night, i will spend the night. night. spend the it rained, and the plane couldn't come back. it was a life-changing experience. people die. it was a bad trip. tony took me to romania. you may remember, bulldozing churches.
1:43 am
i saw people persecuted for this. that time -- >> other people were on that trip with you. me on the trip. it was his bill. another one was chris smith. it was our bill. the reagan administration wanted to give it to romania. book int reagan saw a gave him. reagan changed. events.e important they periodically come back. if you look at my newsletters, 81, 80 2, 83, 84, nothing about
1:44 am
-- 81, 82, 83, 84, nothing about transportation. we went to sudan and 89. -- in 89. thosel advocate for issues, but human rights and religious freedom was my bill to --ate the religious freedom the u.s. commission for religious freedom. those two trips. ethiopia and romania. >> sometimes your positions on human rights internationally have put you at odds with your own party and occasionally the president. how has that been for you in your career? >> ok. price?ou pay a
1:45 am
>> i have never felt written. -- threatened. no one has ever threatened me. i think members respect different perspectives. a lot of it has to do with what i believe, my faith. have had to pay a price. >> what will you be doing after you leave congress? in congress you can make change. no you worried when you are longer a member of congress you won't have as much influence? >> i am convinced i can have more. -- we can have more. we are going to work on human rights and religious freedom. i advocate for the persecuted, for christians, for the buddhists in tibet.
1:46 am
i have always cared deeply. there have been 118 or 119 buddhists monks who set themselves a flame because what the government of china has done , to advocate for different groups. i think as a christian i should advocate for this group and that group, not only for my own group , so we hope to put together a major group like that. we cannot do much until we because ofave here the ethics requirements. yn some respects i think i ma be able to do more. >> do you say who the we is you will be working with? >> we have not gotten together with them yet, and when we do we will file with the ethics committee and let them know.
1:47 am
concerned thaty there are catholic bishops in jail in china, and nobody says anything. there are protestants in jail. this places relatively silent. -- this place is relatively silent. for the longest times we have seen christians in the middle east. before the war broke out in iraq, there were 1.5 million christians. abraham is from a rack. iraq. they took me to the site of abraham's village. jonah, babylon. daniel of the bible is buried there. now they are down from roughly
1:48 am
200,002 two -- 2000 -- 200,000 to 250 thousand christians. there is probably more thancution taking place any time in modern times. >> i want to talk about china. you got elected not that long after nixon's visit to china. china has changed enormous lay, at least -- enormous lay, at least -- enormously. what is your opinion on the challenges? >> i am more in the reagan camp than in the nixon camp. i think unless china changes, the chinese government will collapse. china has catholic bishops in jail, plundered tibet, persecuted.
1:49 am
i fund the fbi. i have seen the list of all the companies that have committed cyber attacks. the chinese are stealing jobs. is christianity. the protestant churches growing tremendously in china. if china keeps cracking down, i to china,of the trips i think he must have left is playbook in china. i think the chinese government will collapse. more chinese citizens come through this office than any other office on capitol hill. they are all believers. they are all people who want human rights and religious freedom. they are lawyers who have given their life to defend. i see christianity and human rights rising up, so if this government doesn't change, this government will collapse. this government will go down the
1:50 am
same way the soviet union went. i am optimistic because there is a cavity inside people. they want to believe in dignity and human rights. i am pretty confident we will see a dramatic change in china or this government will fall. >> let's talk about the war. you voted to authorize it, but your position changed over time. i am wondering about the trajectory of that. talk to me about the fact you are thinking about the war, how we prosecuted as a country and what the consequences are. >> is easy to go back and criticize. i did vote for it. i believe in it strongly. we were also told there were weapons of mass distraction. i think mistakes were made. iraqi army should not have been dismantled. you are finding iraqi generals and kernels are fighting with isis. obamaly, i believe the
1:51 am
administration should have gotten and could have gotten a 10,us agreement to keep 15,000 american soldiers there as trainers. those things i think are the critical ones. , becauseof status young men and women gave their lives, and we throw it out. as a result of failure to get an agreement whereby we can keep 10 or 15,000, we see isil, and eiffel is coming back, and we see brutality if you have seen and eiffel --- isil is coming back, and we see brutality, if you have seen the pictures of beheadings. it is a genocide.
1:52 am
was a mistake but also for disbanding the iraqi military. they had no place to go, nothing to do. frankly -- this is not an original idea. i saw geraldo on television. i would bring back general petraeus. petraeus those iraq like the back of his hand. mcchrystal has put together a counterinsurgency plan. i would bring them back. personality is policy. you want the best doctor and the best dentist, and they are the best, but i think there were some mistakes made. now we have a situation. christianity has gone from 1.5 million. and look women left, at damascus. i just had a report from a person we are in touch with in syria.
1:53 am
is coming,at eiffel and that's not good. is coming, and that's not good. qwest do you count that vote on authorizing the war as the most significant in your career? >> and a time you vote that men and women are going to war to give a life, that is. afghanistan, the same way. i have a great respect for the military who give their life, and their families. i bumped into a fellow from my district who had eight employment. a deployment in nine or 10 years. the family is paying. so the votes to go to war were the most significant. are there any votes you regret having taken? >> i don't know that i regret.
1:54 am
i published my voting record on mine so people can see. so people can see. i don't think i have always cast the right vote. smoking onban airplanes, and the senator of virginia got mad at me because of tobacco. at the time people said, you are not helping jobs. regret any vote. that doesn't mean every vote was exactly right, but you gather all the information and put it together, and if there were weapons of mass destruction, saddam was not a good person. it isn't what they did after that, but i do not have a perfect voting record. i am sure i would not be able to go back and reflect and say, i
1:55 am
would have done that differently, but i did have a promise when i got elected that i would publish every vote so people could see and say, why did you do that? , would say, based at the time here is what i was thinking. it is the edmund burke. . issue -- itational is the edmund burke theory. if it is a national issue you are going to do when your conscience tells you. if it is a local issue, you vote your district. i would be the best advocate for the people in my district. fight those to gangs. internationally i have to do says.y conscience i got to do what i really think be willing to pay
1:56 am
the price. if the people of the district don't like it, they can always say so. but you have several times reference president reagan. you served under vice presidents. five i am wondering which have been the most effective leaders. >> one is george washington. we just passed an amendment to make george washington's birthday a national holiday again. we want to see if we can get that through. second is abraham lincoln. he freed the slaves. reagan, my first time at the white house, i thought it was good. class, andd my reagan was wearing that brown suit. said, you are the
1:57 am
only member i know, person who looks good in a brown suit. reagan said the words in the constitution and in the wereration of independence not the people of philadelphia in 1776, but a covenant with the entire world. reagan tore down that wall. mind likenobody in my reagan. i like president bush, but i -- that one in my mind is just my perspective. keep in mind, you lose and 76. you lose in 78. of me.t win because
1:58 am
i won because of reagan. reagan literally pulled me across. under sevend speakers from tipper o'neill to john boehner. who has been the most impactful on the institution? >> i think they are all good people. i am not a congressman leaving being critical of people. that is not my makeup. i think they had an impact. congress has changed, but it's changed because of the media, because of c-span, because of the internet. i think they all had an impact at different times. different speakers for different times. i like them all. i thought they all had an impact. when i leave congress i am not going to be criticizing. if you want to say something critical you should have said it when you are here and not when you are leaving. i have nothing to say.
1:59 am
i like them all. respect treated me with . they could have done something but didn't. let me give one example. i like the mall. they were all fair to me. i voted against -- i like them all. i voted against seating new gingrich. i hadn't seen the report. -- newt gingrich. they call your name out. me.ed and next to when they called gingrich's -- dan stood next to me. when they called gingrich's name, i voted present. finished.aid, you are i was disinvited to republican national committee even. newt gingrich, to his credit,
2:00 am
never punished me, wrote me a nice letter actually. you are leaving the institution with approval ratings at the lowest point in history. that has got to be painful for somebody who has spent their career here. what is the prescription for restoring faith in congress? >> doing the right thing. i personally think the country is in deep trouble. i think we are going through economic decline and we are facing moral decline. of the economic thing is, if you read today's paper, samuelson's article, nobody wants to raise -- i'm not a big tax person. but i never signed a pledge,
2:01 am
because to say i would never do anything, even if my country was fixing a disaster. our defenses are becoming lower in the time when the world is becoming more dangerous. i think doing the right thing will be the best prescription. here.are good people they work hard and care deeply. but i think doing the right thing -- you need to save the country economically. we have to get control of the deficit. i was a supporter of the simpson bowles commission. you have to do some be like that . the longer you put it off, the tougher it is going to be. these are difficult times for the congress. but there are a lot of good people here who care deeply. i think we need more bipartisanship. i am a republican.
2:02 am
we have worked to these program -- problems out. i'm a conservative, he is a moderate. other and weeach still like each other. i think you are going to have to find a little bit more. these are difficult times. i think the american people are unhappy and the media is not particularly helping. not c-span. everything is so fast, so hot, so instant. sometimes you have to reflect and think. immediate -- to two immediate. >> there so much about the career that we have not touched on. what will you miss the most about being in this institution? >> the people. we have made some great friendships over the years.
2:03 am
on both sides of the aisle. a lot of people i know and like and respect are here. i will not become an appear. -- coming up here. my staff.will miss part of the reason i have been able to do a good job, i have a great staff. i was a staff person here. i think the people. >> thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] coming up on washington
2:04 am
journal, increasing the minimum wage. plus, we will be looking for your facebook calls and tweaked. now, supreme court justices in soce top us -- thomas, alito.r -- and the event was part of yale law's reunion weekend. it begins with the dean presenting the awards this is about an hour and 50 minutes. >> good afternoon and welcome once again to alumni weekend. each year, the yale law school association provides an award to
2:05 am
an outstanding graduate. it is our way of recognizing extraordinary alumni that have made contributions to the legal profession. we are a tiny school but we have exercised an outsized influence on the development of american law and public life. evelopment n law and public life. our award of merit has gone two presidents like gerald ford and bill clinton. likes gone to senators jack danford, arlen specter, joseph lieberman, and paul tsongas. officialse to cabinet like hillary clinton, edward leavy, robert rubin. scranton, mayors like john lindsay, an outstanding state judge -- and outstanding state judges.
2:06 am
today we continue that tradition by honoring three alumni who, without any question, have contributed immensely to the substance of american law. today we honor three justices of the united states supreme court. of each of these justices is a quintessentially american story, a story of work, ofbility, hard staggering achievement and great inborn talent. in different ways and in the name of different ideals, each of our honoree says arty left an indelible mark on the shape of our -- on a reason has already left an indelible mark on the shape of our jurisprudence. for as far back as anyone can remember, the school has been the site of passionate argument and disagreement. always nourished students in the pursuit of their own values and strive to help young men and women become as
2:07 am
thoughtful and as effective as they can possibly be as they work out for themselves how best to comprehend this large and complex world. ni graduate our alum with different worldviews and that is good. if we have done our job right, however, our graduates will share one thing. the valueappreciate of reason, dialogue, open and productive conversation. they will listen to those whom they disagree with. driven to these values is a commitmentsource -- to these i use is a precious resource in today's world. respect and mutual engagement, values that lie at the heart of the education that yale strives to provide, i fear for the future of our nation.
2:08 am
the supreme court has always been at the heart of implacable controversy. i cannot begin to imagine the e-mail storm of pressure that must involve every justice -- musttrom of pressure that engulfed every justice. institution -- in no institution are the values of moreale education salient than the supreme court. it is my pleasure to welcome back these three justices who have each displayed the fortitude and virtuosity necessary to succeed in the highly pressurized chamber of the court. to welcomel pleasure the backed way space that is safe for dialogue and discussion and oriented to bringing out the best that is in each of us in the hope that we will discover
2:09 am
there, in ourselves, shared values and aspirations. of the justices we honor today graduated from yale in the 1970's. justices iny of the the program before you, so in the interest of time, and of allowing you to hear directly from them, i will not repeat those biographies. in fact, i will be very brief. i will say only that in coming threee, each of these enriched the community in ways that foreshadowed how they would enrich the entire country in their role as justices of the supreme court. i will introduce the justices in order of seniority. the first to graduate from yale in 1974 was justice clarence thomas. justice thomas had been born into racial segregation and poverty. spent hisin which he earliest years had no running water and only a single electric light.
2:10 am
when he was seven, he was ent to live with his grandfather who he would later describe as the greatest man he had ever known. he stressed the importance of education so that young clarence could one day hold down a coat and tie job. robeshough he now wears instead of coats and ties, i am guessing his grandfather would still be proud. his resources as a student at yale were so limited that when his son jamal was born he could not afford a place for his child to sleep. so deem at jim thomas who is jim thomas,- dean who is here today, but justice thomas his own family crib -- lent justice thomas his own family crib. before classes began he secured a job with legal assistance.
2:11 am
frank cochran remembers thomas as a quick learner, very well organized, and the kind of person you were able to trust to do the work while. well.ught the -- work he brought the same philosophy to his studies. he obtained special permission to carry the maximum number of credits and he subjected himself to a rigorous curriculum of corporate law, bankruptcy, and commercial transactions. made a habit of staying at the library until it closed at 1:00 in the morning. it was clear from the beginning just how smart he was. 's diligence was equaled by his sociability which led to enduring relationships with students and faculty. he soon became close with the pioneering tax scholar boris and the civil rights professor thomas emerson and with clinton
2:12 am
johnstone, a yale institution who passed away this year. around the end of his first spring, thomas lost his wallet and had it returned to him by a fellow classmate named john bolton. they became fast friends. their discussion of politics may mades hesitate -- thomas hesitate before casting a ballot for mcgovern in 1972. his politics may have changed but his ability to relate to others has not. yield lawmany students who go on to clerk of lawsupreme court -- yale students are going to clerk of the supreme court and to a person they praise justice thomas. they describe his kindness and his infectious laugh. this elevates his deep personal
2:13 am
humanity and his constant effort to reach out and to be helpful regardless of political beliefs. and that is no small thing for a justice and robes. -- in robes. the can be no doubt as to his dedication. no justice is as fearless as justice clarence thomas. appointed to the court in 19 91 at the age of 43, he has been intellectualurt's conservative path breaker. passionately defended his convictions even when few agreed until gradually, and in no small part due to the force of his reasoning, his views have made their way into the legal mainstream. been compared to john marshall harland.
2:14 am
someone else has suggested that he should be counted alongside holmes and marshall as a visionary. court watching is always a tricky business and no one has made that clearer than our second nominee, samuel alito, who, in his prize-winning note, analyze the behind the scenes negotiations in the early clause cases like maccallum. in that note, he catalogued, and i am quoting him, "a long list of outwardly plausible but that they mistaken interpretations badly mistaken interpretations that resulted from attempts to discern." understood that outsiders cannot begin to guess at the negotiations and the endless compromises involved in
2:15 am
constructing an opinion for the court. if you examine the career of justice thomas, you will find a dedicated to public service. so also, the career of samuel alito from the united states attorney office to the office of legal counsel to the third circuit court of appeals to his current chambers. public service was in his g enes. his father, an italian immigrant to talk high school history -- who taught high school history. his mother was a school principal. both were the first and their families to attend college. at yale, he was the perfect law student. he did everything right. good friends with all. in short order, justice alito became the editor of the law journal. 78,r, an alumnus from
2:16 am
members seeing him in class, where he would always sit in the front row, staring intently at the professor. he never took a note and he never raised his hand but whenever there was a question that no one else could answer, the professor would inevitably call on samuel alito, would always nail it. it.ho would always nail appointed in 2006, he enjoys a reputation among his colleagues as someone with you most integrity, as a straight shooter who calls them as he sees them -- with the utmost integrity, as a straight shooter who calls them as he sees them. he is a formidable jurist who combines and methodological approach and a mastery of craft that has led legal linguist "ann garner to label him exemplar of legal style grates with power and with clarity -- who writes with power and with
2:17 am
clarity." is assumingthat he a position of leadership, authoring major opinions express conviction. merelyrisk of being another uninformed outsider, i would venture to guess that he is now conducting the very negotiations that he studied student and a yale i would further venture to guess that the force of his presence and his intellect is hard to resist. our third and final honoree is justice sonia sotomayor. in graduated from yale 1979. her life story is one of determination and grit. born in the east bronx from parents who immigrated from puerto rico during world war ii, justice sotomayor drop in a family that refuse to accept that economic disadvantage -- grew up in a family that refused to accept that economic
2:18 am
disadvantage would determine what their children would become. her mother was famous in the projects for saving up to buy sonia and her brother a complete edition of the insect with canada. britannica.dia the books paid off. after graduating, she headed straight to yale law school where she developed a reputation for having an analytical mind, a balanced perspective, and a fearless disposition. martha, her classmate and now the dean at another law school up the road -- [laughter] described her as tough, clear, and very quick on her feet. was [laughter] termers tend to be careful. they do not want to take chances.
2:19 am
but sonia was a red person who from the very beginning took chances. as -- rare person who from the very beginning took chances. law journal note, who for adviser believes is the best written on these subjects, concerned puerto ricans statehood. another person remembers how she was scrupulous by giving the strongest possible form two positions at which the disagreed. the journal found her not so important that it issued a press release to announce the publication. so important that it issued a press release to announce the publication. like justices thomas and alito,
2:20 am
her path had a life of dedication two public service. she is the only current supreme court justice who has experience in this informs her perspective. rachel, i promise dollar, has written that her experience has -- a prominent scholar, has written that her experience has given the court a perspective on criminal law that it has been how everyday people interact with it. what has been said about justice 's criminal jurisprudence can be said about her jurisprudence generally. her commitmentd to realizing the rule of not in its fullest sense, driven by her belief that society is best and i am quoting now,
2:21 am
"a shared acceptance of the law's judgment." the idea that the law must be legitimate to all americans is a noble and essential ideal. and anyone who has followed her work on the court knows that she has pursued it with eloquence and tenacity. , we have onw alums the stage today three remarkable graduates of the school. three graduates have answered the call to public service and achievement and who have already made an unmistakable mark on the substance of american law. each of you has been an inspiration that we teach, each in your own way. and for giving them faith in the value of law, and the profession of law, and the possibilities of law, we thank you and confer upon you the yale law school
2:22 am
award of merit, which looks like this. you will each get this sent to you. it has a picture of lady justice in it which comes from the windows of the sterling law building. i know that wherever lady justice is currently living, she is very proud of each one of you. congratulations. [applause] so that highlight of the afternoon, which is a conversation between justices thomas, a video, and so mayor, and allocate al --- alito, and
2:23 am
sotomayor, and i don't take. --our own kate. the includes 25 years as a lost her at this hospita she has written passionately about constitutional law and criminal procedure. he also saw an interim dean at -- i look forward to the conversation that she will lead with our nominees. [applause]
2:24 am
>> it is a real treat to have you back here. sam, you will be able to see judge garth later on. he has moved up. we hope your whole weekend goes wonderful and we are very excited. we have less than an hour and a half but sometime to get to know you better. my questions will proceed in three parts. first we want learn about your life off the bench. and then about your careers before you joined the supreme court. and finally some questions about your work on the court. , athere is a commonality common theme, it is the commonality between you in some respects. so, robert spoke of your backgrounds and we surely all took notes that none of you came
2:25 am
from a family of lawyers. -- you eachs path chose this path with some independence and grit. i will ask you about where you got that grit to study law. you., let me begin with you are quoted as saying "i was going to go to college and become an attorney and i knew that when i was 10." i want to ask you not so much what made you want to be an attorney but what did becoming a lawyer mean for you at that tender age of 10? oh. i thought you were going to ask , to say whatto me i was thinking at 10 was not terribly sophisticated. despitederstood that
2:26 am
the repetitive theme of the ". mason" shows which introduced me mason" shows which introduced me to the law, that each case was different. there were different people doing different kinds of work interested in different parts of the world and the society were in. -- they were in. and i had the law gave one that opportunity, to learn new things constantly. but in high school i worked in an office. back then it was one man and a bunch of women, ok? in the business office of a hospital. i used to relieve them during the summer when they went on vacation. and i knew from the repetitiveness of the work that i wanted something that would be
2:27 am
constantly stimulating. i was not thinking, back then, in the global terms i subsequently developed. and so that has changed. what law is to me now and what ine me choose it ultimately terms of a for sure the career i was going to do after college was that it was service. >> we will hear more about what it has become to you. sam, you'r princeton is there some aspect of your early life or early professional experience that is particularly important in achieving that? >> i did say it as a joke. of playing in the world
2:28 am
series -- >> you would have referred that. >> you have been to baseball camp. >> both ideas seemed equally plausible at that point. a couple of things got me interested in the law. my father did research for the new jersey legislature and used to discuss that with us and it seems very interesting. after reynolds versus sims was decided, he had the job of drawing to legislative and congressional district with date discuss that as well. that andember lying in listening to the clank of the mechanical adding machine which shows you how much technology has changed. he was doing different maps to make districts with equal so that was one
2:29 am
thing. the other thing that got me interested in law was debating. one year, the national high school debate topic had to do with a constitutional criminal procedure question and it just fascinated me. there was a little book put out that provided arguments on both sides of this question that was written by someone who at the a law clerkeled as on the california supreme court will stop that was the first time i ever saw the word law clerk. the name of this individual was laurence tribe. those were the two of the things that got me interested. >> clarence, unlike your colleagues, you once said you never wanted to be on the court,
2:30 am
that you preferred a private and anonymous life. changed your mind and are you glad you changed it? >> i don't know if i ever changed my mind. changed is when the president calls, you always say yes, mr. president and that gets you into these forest gump situations. i was just reflecting on my colleagues. first of all, it is an honor to be here with them. it is a bit overwhelming. it's a particular honor to be here with my wife, virginia, who is totally my best friend in the world. special thanore what at the time i thought my graduation was. i did not think about being a
2:31 am
lawyer. i thought about seeing a priest. that was my dream, when you are an altar boy will stop the next step is to determine whether you have a vocation and go on to the minor seminary and that was the major change in my life in 1964. >> and you went to seminary four-year will stop >> i went to seminary for four years, including my first year of college. then the late 1960's happened. of things happened, including loss of vocation and loss of faith and then you start thinking what do i do? when the idea, i reflected back on people like atticus bench -- he was the only lawyer i knew anything about. "nativebout max from
2:32 am
son, so these were the things that played out in your mind in the 1960's. those of us who were there in the 1960's cannot say we were thinking straight about a whole a lot of. even if we were not using illegal substances. and whatdifferent time i wound up with was working in the community -- that was a common theme for all of us, so i wound up at new haven legal assistance but the effort was to come back to savannah. yale was actually quite good because naively, i think you said, soanya that you are thinking 10 was unsophisticated, my thinking at 20 was unsophisticated. yale took me up in my quiteation, i said i was
2:33 am
taken by the law and was excited to learn about it. that has continued. actuallyho read that believed me and it must have sounded particularly naive but it is true and is still true today. i am 66, i'm not 20 anymore. i feel as strongly about it after all the experiences and more idealistic than i did back then. let me continue with this line of questioning. the same question to each of you youhat personality trait do think has been the greatest impediment to your success or if you prefer, you can tell us about a trait you found helpful. clarence.t with you,
2:34 am
i am pretty much an introvert. that turned out to be one of the traits that was in or mislead helpful. 's and susanaw clerk kane for pointing out in her book the traits that you have. that has been very healthy to me because i have been able to sort things out that were very, very difficult. the other thing for me over the years, whether i was teaching my , it waslgebra or typing persistence. with doingomfortable things over and over until i learn them. here, i found law school to be enormously elusive and going over reading the tax revenues
2:35 am
and regulations over and over until it made sense, i think italy made sense when i threw the volumes out. persistence and respect for others'opinions has been very helpful to me. as far as something that gets in the way, i can't think of that many things. work with others in a way that is cost free for them to disagree with me. is no penalty, that i can respectfully and clearly disagree, but not in a way where you think i'm going to make this guy angry or we are going to have some unpleasantness. it works fine for me on the court. i'm sure my colleagues can think of those things as the burn this or bullheaded this, but to me,
2:36 am
that would be an incorrect assessment. [laughter] ask some of your colleagues boat i will not do that right now. >> i think to be successful generally, he use the word persistent and i use the word troubled. you just don't want to give up, so you don't. i think you have to respect people and like them. but in direct answer to your question, i have a trait that has an and or mislead help full and enormously harmful at the same time. i have an incredible power of concentration. when i'm involved with something, whether it is reading in my office, people would stand
2:37 am
outside my door to talk because i would never hear them. once i was working, i shut everything out. very helpful for absorbing information when you are not distract, harmful is that happens when i am on the bench and i am involved in an argument and i become oblivious to the world around me and i am just trained in on the person i am engaged with, and i am seeking an answer. beinge, it seems i'm combative when i am really just searching for an answer. and i thinkped me it sometimes still does and i try and try harder as each year passes to correct some of that,
2:38 am
-- i have to soothe that we can all see the good in ourselves and admit some of the bad old stop >> sam merck >> impediments, more than i can inc. of. one has been mentioned already. it probably would have been better if i said a bit more. i said two things to the judge i clerked with during the year ice spent with them. hello judge on the first day ended i judge on the day i left. [laughter] i don't think that's exactly accurate. wells that have served me -- >> you were very close friends with him. >> he is a great mentor and in
2:39 am
his 90's, he has been doing active work for the third circuit and he is still mentally very sharp and he lives near here, so that is an added that if it of my trip this weekend, traits that have served me well? i think one of if not my single there." movie is "being being in the right place at the right time, that is the best. >> i tell my students that about clerkships. just being there at the right time. let me get on a bit of a lighter note. beyond sharing a passion for the law, each of you is also a passionate sports fan. -- and soniya, you
2:40 am
butou are baseball fans, clarence, have you ever gone to a baseball game? are, with your wife jenny, a devoted fan of the nebraska huskers. from nebraska. is that why you are a huskers fan? >> yes. [laughter] lot.lly like my wife a [laughter] [applause] i really liked her mother and her mother really liked me, so my advice to people who get married is lookout for the mother-in-law. they were big nebraska fans and
2:41 am
i like the fact that the players graduate. i think it's wrong for these kids who go to school and use of their eligibility of health and they probably don't graduate are stop at this moment, we dispatching with rutgers, so hopefully that is over by now. what do you do, with your leisure time if you have any? i'm going to give the answer and you are going to tell me whom i'm referring to in the style of the old "what's my .ine" tv show a coffeeu inspired shop to label its brand old justice. d want to ask the audience to participate?
2:42 am
>> obviously, it's made. -- it's me. [laughter] comes from my day on the third circuit. there was an old coffee shop that long, long predates starbucks -- this goes back to the 19th century. year, i had light coffee but they did not want to make that, but this coffee shop had a promotion. year and sign up for a fill up a big thermos so you have coffee for the year. as a promotion, they say if during the course of the year, you sampled every lens of coffee that they made, you could create your own blend at the end of the year and name it. this involved a lot of sacrifice because there were lens like blueberry coffee and horrible
2:43 am
things. they suffered through all of that and then created this blend , which is designed for about 3:00 in the afternoon if you are working and starting to fall asleep, if you have this, it will jolt you awake. that is the story behind it. thecoffee expert among three or four who did that has andthat as a law professor of course, where would he go? to seattle. >> it sounds like you are serious about your coffee. >> yes full top >> what kind do you drink? >> strong. >> are you serious about coffee? >> very much so, but i had to give it up. get pounds of coffee
2:44 am
from puerto rico because they know i was an avid coffee drinker, so everybody sends a coffee. of it,an office full home for that, friends have it, just get on my list. >> folgers and dunkin' donuts is fine. i'm eclectic. connoisseur. that's pretty obvious, right? >> one of you enjoys traveling cross country with your spouse .n a 40 foot rv who is that? >> that is technically incorrect. it is a motorcoach. >> is it bigger than an rv?
2:45 am
>> it could be, but it is a better vehicle that rv. are a connoisseur about something. >> and rv is built on a light truck chassis. a motorcoach is a tour bus. >> he is a connoisseur about some things. >> it is old, but it is really nice. i do travel on it and this is a wonderful country. we have been doing it for 15 years and we have been through connecticut, we have seen western connecticut, parts ofetts, other new england, upstate new york, the adirondacks, the west, the it is an amazingly beautiful country, so we have had an opportunity to drive around. >> to people ever come up to you and say you look like clarence thomas.
2:46 am
gore -- youh v probably don't recall that case. one thing about these old motor coaches is that you spend a lot of time repairing them. it, this always goes on -- you are always taking it to be repaired. it was scheduled the week we had bush v gore to be in florida. of course, i had to drive it there. i rescheduled and the week after, things were a little dicey driving down in florida and i stopped in brunswick georgia at the flying j truck stop. not many people know these places exist, but it is ready interesting. i'm refueling, which is an interesting experience, with the 18 wheelers and one of the truckers walks by and says to me
2:47 am
that anybody ever tell you you look like clarence thomas? and i said yes. happens alli bet it the time, doesn't it? then he went on about his business. one of you is a passionate salsa dancer and i guess we know who that is full -- we know who that is. >> it's me again. >> does any other justice dance salsa? >> i doubt it. part, i doubt very much. what i did as a child because we had parties in my home for most of my early childhood. i know most of my cousins could dance, but i couldn't.
2:48 am
-- says every times less every time lessons started, you would run off and do something else. later found out i am pitch death. i can't keep a beat to save my life. i live like a potted plant. there's an expression in spanish. moste like a potted plant of my adulthood and as i was -- ing 50, i had got on had gone on to the court of appeals and was invited to spanish event source also was being played. there as all of these guys were asking me to get up and dance and i was single. i finally decided this is something i want to change. so i took lessons and i found i totally cannot keep a beat
2:49 am
to save my life will stop it doesn't matter what i do. facility some of my colleagues would find very strange. i can follow. [laughter] this will fall a little flat in this audience except among the hispanics here. if my partner can keep the beat and i can see it, i can follow it. bestong hispanic men, the dancers in terms of keeping a beat are dominicans. becauset are cubans they have egg steps. >> is profiling. >> but it proves itself write a
2:50 am
lot stop cubans have these very tight little steps. puerto ricans, i can dance with. only partially jesting. before i say yes to anyone who asks me to dance, have two watch them first to make sure i can follow. so if you can't lead, you follow. >> you are going to be in trouble with the cubans. always says he's the only puerto rican who doesn't know how to dance. >> is a revelation to know >>nya likes to follow for
2:51 am
now you know. getting to know you better -- am going to ask weston that sounds in all but works well when brian lamb asks it on c-span. tell me about a book you have read recently and while is good. >> i have two books that are theirational and i keep month the table by my bed and tried to read them a little bit every night. my grandfather's son and my beloved world. [laughter] >> quick thinking.
2:52 am
>> he is keeping it with his two constitutions in his pocket. >> it is a hard question to answer. i try to read things other than the law over the summer, but when the summer comes to an end, i vow that you can just read briefs because so much of our lives is reading an incredible amount of legal material. -- i also love list, so i found a list of things you can read in a day. i've started it all and that is my vow for the coming term. some things i had read many years ago like a story from dubliners and i said you did not really understand this when you are 17 years old.
2:53 am
some very moving things like that. >> i do a combination of legal books and on legal books. summer, i read a book on my colleague and i am not going to rank it. he did not write it, so it is about him. booko read justin stevens on the amendments he would propose if he had the power. because of fun things, you want to escape from it. i read because my college classicstold me which to read and she still sends me books. it was the immortal life of henrietta west, and i loved that book.
2:54 am
science did it teach me in an understandable way, but it had a very moving and impactful description of how science not only changes the world, but the individuals affected by it. done, it was beautifully and incredibly interesting. it's a little bit of law because it talks about these cases but it is really about him and her as pete and i am enjoying it. things friends recommend the. i just have ags personal interest in, so it varies. i think reading
2:55 am
is a gift. it is a gift i prayed for when i was a kid, i read quite a bit. to teacho do things, courses and things i'm interested in. i just recently agreed to teach a literature class for the last two years on law and literature. this year, we were doing native son. native son is to me -- it was certainly critical in my own development and there is so much in there. i reread that many times. i most recently reread it a few weeks ago. did to kill a marking bird which i have done countless times. each time you read it, you see something different.
2:56 am
>> where was it you were teaching? >> george washington university. i'm teaching another course that is the story behind constitutional law precedent. that's a full semester. i taught another one on swift the tyson, which is another set of readings. so i really need a full-time job. is it forces me to -- things that are important to me and that are helpful in thinking about things -- reading richard wright at this point in my life is quite different -- >> when you first read it? >> i was 16 -- i was the only black kid in the seminary. you react quite differently. i read it again during my
2:57 am
college years. have read it many times, but at each stage, you see things differently. >> judge alito gave my answer -- i read them and reread them. on, you've got to get moving your memoir. to law school on and your priests of prima court careers. when i first asked about your time at yale law school, let us some some former all -- formal episodes, good or bad. tell us something in your book or something else entirely. and sam, you can tell us if it's true if you sat in front of the
2:58 am
never took notes. >> it sounds good, so i'm not going to deny it. interesting things that happened -- i had some wonderful classes and great professors. i was walked over to the law school this morning by a first-year student -- maybe they thought i couldn't find my way here, but i had a chance to talk to him on my way over and i asked what courses he was taking andhe said i'm taking tort guido cal bracey is teaching. so many things have changed here. but it's good to have some things that do stay the same. he was a wonderful teacher and i'm glad to hear he's doing well after some recent surgery. i had some other very good courses.
2:59 am
of route court and i are member participating here and in particular, i marveled that i made it to the final rounds. an incident i mentioned to the students i spoke to, one of the judges is hammering the with one particular question. could -- ias best i don't know how many times this i wouldand then i said like to move on to my other argument and he said you have an answer my question to my satisfaction yet and my response was i have answered it to my satisfaction. [laughter] this is an incredibly open-minded person who let me move on to the next round after
3:00 am
that. >> i never knew that about you. ask what about you, clarence mark >> i think of law school as a blur. there were some good people who were very good to me. i consumed a lot of his time. professors -- they were all very good to me and spent time with me. joe bishop spent time with me when i took a couple of his courses.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on